Saturday, September 21, 2013

Why environmentalism has failed, and will continue to fail. Wrong economics.

Economics is science where disinformation is as important as information. Consequently people may be excused if they are confused by the machinations of the big banks, the government, and other organs of the 1%.

There are, however, some basic rules of economics that can be used to analyze events and make predictions in spite of all the misdirection. Demand and supply, while fiercely manipulated and misrepresented, still eventually asserts itself. The fallacy of composition is a principle which is repeated over and over, and one should refresh one's understanding. Externality, the most extensive principle of modern economics, whereby the entire biosphere is dismissed as not worth accounting.

People generally understand that demand drives supply. A long, failed "war on drugs," while never meant to stop drugs, nevertheless showed that the best way to not stop something is to attack supply and ignore demand.

In the U.S., environmentalism has focused on supply. Stopping development mostly, now taking the form of stopping fossil-fuel production. But the demand that is driving development, created by the subsidy of sprawl and car-dependent living is not directly addressed. Have you ever heard of a major environmental group opposing the home mortgage interest deduction? Stopping that would be more effective than trying to block oil exploration in the arctic.

It is time to look for demand-side ways to undercut the critical mass of the autosprawl system.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What is wrong with biofuels? Comments on

Peak Oil News
The biggest problem that humanity faces is not running out of fuels, it is the results of continuing to burn them.
Turning the planet’s biosphere into even more fuels, just so that we can continue on the path that we are on, is a really bad idea. GregT 

Whatever happened to bio-fools? Well about ummm,….lets see.
A) They dont work
B) They are too expensive.
C) They don’t new deliver net energy(killer)
D) The production of Bio-fools is utterly dependant on OIL powered industrial-scale-ag.(closely related to C)
E) Neither Land or Water or fertilizer etc exist in sufficient quantities to make bio-fools remotely useful. If we were dumb enough to try, it would likely end industrial civilization. At least if attempted on the scales that would be required.
F) The fruitless pursuit of providing ‘fuel’ for private 4000 pound grocery fetchers using bio-fools is inherently and deeply flawed, regardless of all the other technical and financial flaws in trying to do so. IoW, its simply wrong.

Just like with supposed ‘renewable’ electric power generation. Fossil fuels are required to make all of the things that we hope to run with biofuels.
Free energy is a myth, it is tens of millions of years worth of stored solar energy that we are currently using to build everything. Current solar energy will never replace what it took the Earth to store in such a long period of time.
There is nothing that human beings can do to change this. We need to return back to living within the confines of the natural world, and we need to do this soon, or nature will remove us from IT’S future. GregT

Friday, August 30, 2013

Polluting power plants to reap carbon tax windfall

Carbon tax hands out billions to polluters, now it looks to be scrapped.
Polluting power plants to reap carbon tax windfall: Under the carbon price there is a five-year, multibillion-dollar compensation package for heavy-emitting coal power plants. Labor says the assistance is necessary for energy security and to compensate for the loss in value of coal power plants.
The free credits come on top of $1 billion in cash compensation given last year to eligible plants,

Read more:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How biofuels increase greenhouse gas emissions

CTA - Brussels Office Weblog - Studies shore up proof of indirect biofuels emissions: "Projections that feedstock-based biofuels will indirectly cause net greenhouse gas emissions in the future have been confirmed by preliminary results from two new studies of past land use change.
This may strengthen the case for bringing forward a review into whether indirect land use change (ILUC) - net carbon loss that occurs when forests and grasslands are cleared for food production that has been displaced by biofuels plantations elsewhere- factors should be included in EU legislation."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Natural gas was supposed to be a bridge from coal to renewables. Not.

Bridge Out: Coal Generation Rises While Natural Gas Falls As The Fairy Tale Comes To An End | ThinkProgress: "Coal’s share of total domestic power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% during the same period last year, according to the Energy Information Administration [EIA]…. By contrast, natural gas generation averaged about 25.8% this year, compared with 29.5% a year earlier."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Exaggerated Benefits of Electric Cars

Streetsblog: "Rather than using that money to subsidize electric cars, taxpayers would get a better environmental bang for their buck with interventions like transit expansion, more targeted emissions testing policies, and making places more walkable and bikeable."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Unclean at Any Speed - IEEE Spectrum

Unclean at Any Speed - IEEE Spectrum: "Upon closer consideration, moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another."

Wishful thinking that capitalism can actually save forests

Guest Post: Redeeming REDD | "Opponents of REDD speak about the predatory green economy, REDD as a new form of colonialism, rights abuses, carbon cowboys and susceptibility to other forms of grander organized crime corruption. "

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Welcome to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board // Biodiesel Solutions

NASA Goddard
Smoke from fires on Indonesia’s Sumatra island is polluting Singapore and Malaysia.

Washington, DC: "According to the World Commission on the Environment and Development, sustainable development is defined as development that ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Sustainable palm oil production comprises legal, economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial management and operations. Thus, the use of sustainable palm oil for the production of palm biodiesel will make the Malaysian palm biodiesel industry sustainable. This concept focuses primarily on the proper practices required to achieve sustainability.

From the economic point of view, the utilization of the bioenergy such as biodiesel may not be as economically attractive as using conventional energy, but this should not prevent its widespread use as the concern towards depletion of the fossil fuels and increasing environmental concerns must also be addressed."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Public transit yes, but how.

This article mentions the drop in commuter rail use as if it is a problem. It is not a problem. We should not be using rail to encourage sprawl. For many years suburban commuters got preference over urban bus riders. That should end.
U.S. cities are building commuter rail, so where are the riders? | SmartPlanet: "Commuter rail — which connects city centers with suburbs — had the smallest growth of any transit system in the U.S. at 0.5 percent., with 10 out of 28 systems actually losing riders."
In general, we should not be doing capital-intensive projects. Subways take people underground to allow cars to own the streets. People should be in the streets with free buses, and as need becomes apparent, light rail and/or trams. The U.S. streetcars were deconstructed by a combination of less-frequent service and replacement by buses. We need to go back via the same path. Make buses frequent and free, then you will see where to put rail.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Revealed: £2bn cost of failed Sellafield plant

UK - The Independent: "The Green Party's spokesman, Andrew Cooper, said: "They have described their report as 'Lessons learnt' but the reality is that this is a catalogue of inherent failure which brings into question the whole nuclear industry. Clearly there have been well-documented failures by officials but far from learning the lessons, it appears that the coalition and Labour are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt yet again.""

Vietnam shows how not to promote public transit by imposing massive rail projects on top of autosprawl

Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily | Vietnam metro systems get set, but will the public go?: "However, they face a much tougher task in convincing millions of motorbike and car owners to switch to the trains because old habits die hard, and, some experts say, entrenched attitudes die even harder."
Start simple. With free buses. As ridership grows, you will know what to do.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Carbon markets can't work, won't work. "The financial firms that helped create carbon markets, “have a vested interest in market instruments that are complex, opaque, volatile, and hard to value”, Levy writes, adding that, “there are legitimate grounds for concern that carbon markets were not designed to provide the clear and simple price signals needed to stimulate a broad transition to a low-carbon economy.”"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Many years and hopes put into carbon market turn out to be a waste

European carbon market’s trouble darkens outlook for remedying climate change - The Washington Post: "As the regional plan falters, some countries are going it alone on domestic initiatives. This year, for instance, Britain introduced a carbon tax on emissions that British manufacturers say has put them at a competitive disadvantage with their counterparts on the continent. It suggests the potential pitfalls ahead as countries and even smaller jurisdictions such as states, provinces and cities introduce a disparate patchwork of climate-change measures."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cap and Trade fails in Europe

Europe’s Carbon Market Crisis: Why Does it Matter?: ""Now, the market is dead, as far as I can see," said Steffen Böhm, director of the Essex Sustainability Institute at Britain's Essex Business School."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cap and trade: corporate welfare, and buying "greenness" on the cheap.

International cap-and-trade markets expanding – but still contentious | Environment | ""The state gave away 90 percent of its allowances in the first year, and over half of mandated emissions reductions will be produced by offsets, which are notoriously prone to gaming and displace rather than actually reducing emissions," he notes.

"After you take these factors into account, they could make up more than 100 percent of the reductions in California – meaning that the cap and trade will result in zero emissions reductions in the state. The law is supposed to be creating incentives for innovations, whereas cap and trade merely allows the fossil fuel industry to keep polluting at historical levels.""

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Alternative energy technologies are a false solution for #climate

Power Shift Away From Green Illusions: "There is an impression that we have a choice between fossil fuels and clean energy technologies such as solar cells and wind turbines. That choice is an illusion. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels through every stage of their life. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels for mining operations, fabrication plants, installation, ongoing maintenance and decommissioning. Also, due to the irregular output of wind and solar, these technologies require fossil fuel plants to be running alongside them at all times. Most significantly, alternative energy financing relies on the kind of growth that fossil fuels drive."

'via Blog this'

Cheap oil has made humans think we can control nature

A contribution to the Climate Space 2013: How to overcome the Climate Crisis? | Hoy es Todavía: "We also need to end the hubris of man. We need to end the arrogance of man that he can control nature and solve the climate crisis with techno-fixes. Carbon markets, the monetary valuing of nature, “REDD[1]”,  “Green economy”, GMOs, agro-fuels, synthetic biology, nuclear projects, geo-engineering are all false solutions because they reinforce the misguided belief that humans can control nature through technology. It is also based on the false premise that the capitalist system and free market can solve the climate crisis that it has created by putting a price and commodifying the functions of nature. Instead of recognizing the limits of man and markets, they encourage suicidal technologies and promote new speculative derivative markets on nature."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Indigenous people exploited for "green-fueled" cars in Brazil

CACC: "Expelled from their lands because of the continuous process of colonization, more than 40,000 Guarani Kaiowá now live on less than 1% of their original territory. On their lands today, there are thousands of hectares of sugarcane put in place by multinational enterprises that portray ethanol to the world as an “environment friendly” and “clean” fuel.

Without their lands and forests, the Guarani Kaiowá have for years coexisted with a malnutrition epidemic. And with no alternative means of subsistence, adults and children are exploited in the cane fields, exhaustively working day-in, day-out. In the production line of the so-called “clean” fuel, the Federal Public Prosecutor constantly sues the owners of the plantations because of their child labor and slave labor practices.

Amid the delirium of the “green gold fever” (the way people refer to sugarcane), indigenous leadership finds death as their fate–death ordered by the big farmers."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Carbon Tax | Coal Profits From Carbon Tax

Carbon Tax | Coal Profits From Carbon Tax: "Australia's highly emitting brown coal power generators will reap $2.3 billion to $5.4 billion in windfall profits from carbon price compensation, an analysis by a leading energy market expert has found."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Electric cars promote sprawl, solve nothing

Alt-Car Alternatives - Santa Monica, CA Patch: "Let’s say hypothetically that tomorrow everyone in the Los Angeles region with a gasoline powered car suddenly had a fully electric car, the batteries doubled in charge life, and a renewable energy grid drops out of the sky leaving free solar panels on every home to power the cars. We would still have the same congestion, quality of life, and public safety problems we have because of car dependent society today. The 405 would be no less a headache. The death toll on our roads would be no less catastrophic."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Renewables – Good for some things; not so good for others | Our Finite World

Renewables – Good for some things; not so good for others | Our Finite World: "Some seem to believe that renewables can power the world on a stand-alone basis. The tiny quantity of renewable energy currently available is, in and of itself, a huge limitation in making this happen. Furthermore, today’s solar PV panels and wind turbines are made and transported using fossil fuels, and most of our transportation industry uses petroleum. In theory, we could develop new devices that use only electricity, or create enough biofuels to make a complete closed loop (devices made and transported only with renewables). In practice, we have trillions of dollars of cars, trucks, airplanes, and construction machinery built to use oil. Because of this, a complete changeover to renewables is at best decades away."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thyroid Abnormalities Found in Children Downwind from Fukushima – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

Thyroid Abnormalities Found in Children Downwind from Fukushima – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement: "The nuclear fuel cycle—from mining to milling to enrichment to transportation to waste management—creates substantial greenhouse gases. The reactors themselves convert ore to gargantuan quantities of heat that warm the planet directly, wrecking our weather patterns in ways that have never been fully assessed."

'via Blog this'

Friday, March 15, 2013

Problems mount for alternative energy sources

The quickest energy gain is to stop wasting energy via the autosprawl system. Increasing supply from whatever source is the wrong direction. Some of the alternatives are not even alternatives.
Wind Farms Are Net Carbon Dioxide Emitters | "Large British wind farms will actually release as much carbon dioxide as fossil-fuel power plants, according to a study conducted by researchers from Aberdeen University and published in the journal Nature."

Japan Taps Methane Hydrates: Pondering the Explosive Implications

Peak Oil News: "Developing methane hydrates would be “game over for the climate,” writes green blogger Mat McDermott.
It’s easy to see why he’d be concerned: methane hydrates contain more carbon than all the world’s other fossil resources combined, according to USGS estimates."

Biofuels boom threatens to disrupt global biodiversity | Global Ideas | DW.DE | 12.03.2013

DW.DE | 12.03.2013: "The rush around the world to plant crops used to produce biofuel has not only sparked a global food vs. fuel debate, but it’s also putting biodiversity at risk."